Litigant in person costs—costs management and budgeting
Litigant in person costs—costs management and budgeting

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Litigant in person costs—costs management and budgeting
  • Cost management
  • Advantages to an LIP of costs management
  • LIPs and costs budgets
  • Agreeing costs budgets with LIPs
  • Requirement for Precedent R in cases involving LIPs
  • Estimating the costs of LIPs
  • Costs management conferences
  • Case Management Conference (CMOs)
  • Varying costs budgets
  • more

Cost management

The overriding objective makes it clear that the court, so far as is practicable, ensures 'that the parties are on an equal footing' (CPR 1.1(2)(a)) and in cases involving a litigant in person (LIP), effective cost management has an important role in ensuring this.

When dealing with multi-track civil litigation, the proceedings may be subject to formal costs management process which includes the requirement to provide costs budgets and the court's making of a costs management order (CMO). Generally, where costs budgets have been filed, the court will make a CMO. The costs budgets and CMOs together form the basis of the information which will enable the court to costs manage the proceedings. For more information, see Practice Notes: Costs management and costs budgeting—general principles, Cost management orders and Costs budgeting—courts' approach.

As this Practice Note will go on to explain, unless otherwise ordered by the Court, LIPs do not have to file a costs budget—however, they are entitled to be served with a copy of any other represented party’s budget (CPR PD 3E, para 7.8). This suggests that they will not be prevented from taking part and being heard at any costs management conference and would thus be entitled to make submissions about the proportionality or reasonableness of represented parties’ budgets.

The intervention of the court when